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The Large, the Small and the Human Mind
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Details

  • 72 b/w illus. 3 tables
  • Page extent: 224 pages
  • Size: 216 x 138 mm
  • Weight: 0.28 kg

Paperback

 (ISBN-13: 9780521785723 | ISBN-10: 0521785723)

Roger Penrose's original and provocative ideas about the large-scale physics of the Universe, the small-scale world of quantum physics and the physics of the mind have been the subject of controversy and discussion. These ideas were proposed in his best-selling books The Emperor's New Mind and Shadows of the Mind. In this book, he summarises and updates his current thinking in these complex areas to present a masterful summary of those areas of physics in which he feels there are major unresolved problems. Through this, he introduces radically new concepts which he believes will be fruitful in understanding the workings of the brain and the nature of the human mind. These ideas are challenged by three distinguished experts from different backgrounds: Abner Shimony and Nancy Cartwright as philosophers of science and Stephen Hawking as a theoretical physicist and cosmologist. Roger Penrose concludes with a response to their thought-provoking criticisms.

• Includes distinguished contributions by Abner Shimony, Nancy Cartwright and Stephen Hawking • Accessible and illuminating introduction to the controversial ideas on modern physics presented in Penrose's long and complex best-sellers, The Emperor's New Mind and Shadows of the Mind • Provocative and personal vision of theoretical physics in the 21st century by one of the most highly regarded mathematicians/physicists of our time

Contents

Foreword Malcolm Longair; 1. Space-time and cosmology Roger Penrose; 2. The mysteries of quantum physics Roger Penrose; 3. Physics and the mind Roger Penrose; 4. On mentality, quantum mechanics and the actualization of potentialities Abner Shimony; 5. Why physics? Nancy Cartwright; 6. The objections of an unashamed reductionist Stephen Hawking; 7. Response Roger Penrose; Appendix I: Goodstein's theorm and mathematical thinking; Appendix II: Experiments to test gravitationally induced state reduction.

Reviews

'To see a scientist of Penrose's ability, stature and achievement toss large parts of modern physics into the air as though juggling balls and try to keep them aloft while marshalling them into a coherent pattern is a thing to behold. It is a wonderful illustration of a first-rate scientist doing what first-rate scientists have always done: make bold conjectures and display them for others to confirm, refute or amend.' Keith Devlin, New Scientist

'When Oxford physicist and mathematician Penrose … has something to say about general relativity, quantum physics and artificial intelligence, we would do well to listen.' Publishers Weekly

'The book is an attractive and stimulating introduction to some fascinating issues, on some of which (such as the intelligibility of the universe) theists would certainly be able to offer some alternative insights.' John Polkinghorne, Science and Christian Belief

'... one could hardly ask for a shrewder or more enthusiastic tour guide to the extremes of physics.' Scientific American

'… a stimulating and compact review of Penrose's own thinking.' Bernard Dixon, The Independent

'… a stimulating and compact review of Penrose's own thinking.' Bernard Dixon, The Independent

'… a stimulating and compact review of Penrose's own thinking.' Bernard Dixon, The Independent

'… a stimulating and compact review of Penrose's own thinking.' Bernard Dixon, The Independent

'… a stimulating and compact review of Penrose's own thinking.' Bernard Dixon, The Independent

'… a stimulating and compact review of Penrose's own thinking.' Bernard Dixon, The Independent

'… a stimulating and compact review of Penrose's own thinking.' Bernard Dixon, The Independent

'… a stimulating and compact review of Penrose's own thinking.' Bernard Dixon, The Independent

Contributors

Abner Shimony, Nancy Cartwright, Stephen Hawking

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